Company on hold

1 September 2017
696 Views

This is an open letter to everyone who has been involved in the forthcoming of Polyfied as a company and perhaps more importantly supporting the Particle Playground project.

 

A bit of history

I’d like to start this with a bit of brief history, before I can explain why the company and its projects are being paused for the time being. Back in 2013 I left an indie studio, it was an amazing experience over two years where I had the role of programmer and technical lead, learning the ins and outs of the Unity engine.

Me and my wife had our first baby, I didn’t have any income at the time being and no revenue was ever made from the indie dreams. I still had my own company Polyfied where I’ve been consulting for many years, and I had a very simple idea which came to me a sleepless night; What if you would make particles of pixels in an image? The idea in itself wasn’t very original, this has been done in a multitude of screen savers since the 90s, blowing up your favourite images and assembling -very- cool text messages. But I could however not stop thinking about what you would be able to do with the particles afterwards, running them through different noise algorithms or being able to control their behaviour with hands-on visual tools.

This was the beginning of a small framework I called Pixel2Particle. I posted the idea and some of its somewhat obscure results on the Unity forums to get feedback. It was well received and I started to get requests, things like: “What if you could use a height map?”, “Could it emit from skinned meshes?”,  so I started digging further into what this possibly could become. After a lot of iterations over several months and an immense amount of Editor GUI scripts later it had become something much bigger, a big playground where you could control particles like never before within the Unity Editor. The name was simply enough Particle Playground, and It was ready for the Unity Asset Store.

After the initial release the real work began of iterating further, to keep the innovations flowing together with requests and ideas from other developers all over the world. Unity and the Asset Store team has also been great to collaborate with, they are truly amazing at what they do. It has been a really fun experience.

 

The current situation

During 2016 and 2017 it has been difficult to keep up with all the tasks to drive forward, to keep the projects up-to-date and give good support. It’s been a struggle to find time apart from taking care of the family and keeping up with the daytime job. The situation is not ideal for a company of this size, but in a way I guess it never really is. During 2016 and continuing in 2017 Unity has been giving their Shuriken particle system a well needed revamp. It’s really good for us as developers and the forthcoming of our projects, but it’s something I struggled to keep up with and many features which Playground offers are now implemented natively.

For now I’m removing Particle Playground from the Unity Asset Store until I’m certain I can give it enough time to bring it back and keep a steady flow in its development. Right now it is uncertain when that time is. If you own Particle Playground you can still download the package from the Unity Asset Store up till March 2018, but you cannot purchase further licenses. The version available has known support for Unity 4.3.4 – 5.5.

 

Thank you for all your effort with me in this project, all your support and understanding. It has been an amazing journey over the years and I hope to be able to find my way back to the innovative Unity scene in the near future.

All best,
Lars-Erik Ronnheden